Sonny Gray had thumb surgery, should be ready for spring training

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Athletics starter Sonny Gray underwent thumb surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, per Susan Slusser. The right-hander had a screw inserted to stabilize the fracture, suffered in his Game 5 loss to the Tigers in the ALDS.

Slusser says Gray should be ready to go when spring training arrives in February.

Gray became one of the Athletics’ most reliable starters after making his Major League debut on July 10. He wrapped up the regular season with a 2.67 ERA in 64 innings over 12 starts. He then outdueled Justin Verlander in Game 2 of the ALDS, tossing eight shutout frames as his Athletics went on to win 1-0. The A’s called on him in the fifth and final game of the ALDS but he wasn’t as effective, allowing three runs in five innings, as the Athletics were ultimately pushed out of ALCS contention.

Report: Orioles interested in Lance Lynn

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The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.

Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.

Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.